The argument of whether the Dodgers should have started Brett Anderson or Alex Wood in Game 3 of the National League Division Series against the Mets had a very definitive answer: Neither. New York had their way with both pitchers in a 13-7 bludgeoning on Monday night at Citi Field.
The 13 runs are the most allowed by the Dodgers in a postseason game, and the 11th time they have allowed 10 or more runs.
History will not remember this at all, but the Dodgers once led this game 3-0. Things were looking up for Los Angeles way back in the top of the second inning when they loaded the bases with nobody out, then Yasmani Grandal found a break, hitting a two-run single that didn't somehow end up in an infielder's glove, after a 4-for-88 slump. An errant throw from the outfield allowed Carl Crawford to score as well, giving the Dodgers three runs on the play.
Howie Kendrick smoked a line drive that would have made the score 4-0 had David Wright not made a terrific leaping catch to end the inning. It didn't seem too important at the time, and it ended up not mattering, but for a completely different reason.
The bottom of the second inning was a classic Brett Anderson frustration inning, inducing four ground balls but only seeing two outs as a result. A ground ball that Jimmy Rollins took forever to throw to first, and a slow chopper that Howie Kendrick couldn't corral were both scored as singles, two of four straight hits to pull the Mets within 3-1.
With two outs in the inning, Anderson had a chance to exit the frame without further damage, but instead allowed a first-pitch laser off the center field wall for a bases-clearing double, giving the Mets a 4-3 lead.
Granderson in the regular season hit .183/.273/.286 against left-handed pitchers.
Anderson, who had a major-league-best 66.3-percent ground ball rate during the regular season but also allowed the most home runs on the staff (18), allowed a two-run shot to Travis d'Arnaud in the third inning for a 6-3 Mets lead, which ended Anderson's night after just three innings.
Wood entered the game and immediately allowed a double to Juan Lagares, who eventually scored. But the game got away for good when Yoenis Cespedes rocketed a three-run home run to left for a 10-3 lead. Cespedes and d'Arnaud each had three hits, scored three runs and had three RBI.
Anderson made 57 pitches in his thee innings, allowing six runs. Wood made 54 pitches in his two innings, allowing four runs.
Matt Harvey overcame those three early runs to earn the win, striking out seven in his five innings.
Adrian Gonzalez hit a solo home run in the seventh inning, just the fifth postseason home run by the Dodgers on the road against the Mets, joining Mike Scioscia (1988 NLCS Game 4), Kirk Gibson (1988 NLCS Games 4 & 5) and Wilson Betemit (2006 NLDS Game 2).
Granderson added another double against another lefty — J.P. Howell — in the seventh inning, a two-run shot that highlighted a three-run frame and give Granderson five RBI on the night.
The Dodgers added three in the ninth inning on a home run by Kendrick, which left them one run shy of most combined runs in a postseason game in franchise history, trailing only a 13-8 win over the Yankees in Game 2 of the 1956 World Series.
I said before the playoffs that the Dodgers will ride Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke as far as they will take them, and that's what's on tap for the next two games. The Dodgers will send Kershaw on three days rest on Tuesday night to try to extend their season, then if that gambit works out will have Greinke on regular rest in Game 5 on Thursday. But first things first, the Dodgers have to win Game 4 to earn a Game 5, and Game 4 will start at 5:07 p.m. PT on Tuesday night. Steven Matz starts for the Mets.
Game 3 particulars
Home runs: Adrian Gonzalez (1), Howie Kendrick (1); Travis d'Arnaud (1), Yoenis Cespedes (2)
WP - Matt Harvey (1-0): 5 IP, 7 hits, 3 runs (2 earned), 2 walks, 7 strikeouts
LP - Brett Anderson (0-1): 3 IP, 7 hits, 6 runs, 3 strikeouts